TRENTON, N.J. - Plans for pop culture domination; the truths behind long-debated rock 'n' roll legends; the inspirations for, and true meanings of, classic song lyrics; the decisions for leaving and returning to major bands; and the struggles with such un-rock 'n' roll things as fatherhood and maturity: just a few of the revelations contained within the pages of Shooting the Sh*t Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods.
Unlike typical collections of rock star interviews, veteran music journalist Vinny Cecolini's first eBook is a compendium of conversations with artists during pivotal moments in each of their careers.
"Fans want to read the artist's words," he explains. "They want to read exact, contextual quotes. They don't care about a journalist's musings and meanderings. If they did, they would immediately flip over to a magazine's reviews or editorial section."
As the title suggests, the author never treats his artist chats as "paint-by-numbers question and answer sessions," but as "friendly, naturally flowing conversations."
"Straight-forward interviews are the kiss of death," he continues. "When promoting something new, most artists are subjected to a 'cattle call' of interviews. And nothing will bore an artist quicker than hearing the same sterile questions over and over again; nothing will frustrate or turn an artist off quicker than watching a 'hack' journalist stammering as he or she fumbles with a list of questions.
"If a journalist lets the conversation flow naturally, it may take him or her in a different direction than expected, but that's fine. Even if given an agenda by a publication [to talk about a new album, DVD or tour], the conversation will eventually find its way back to the topic."
During his 25 year career, Vinny's work has appeared in dozens of publications including Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs and Bikini. And like many veteran journalists, he has accumulated conversations that, for a variety of reasons, have never been published. Shooting the Sh*t is Vinny's opportunity to give these chats "life." It's an idea born as the author lamented over his tape of a chat he had with a pre-American Nightmare Marilyn Manson.
"It was months before the release of the band's 1994 debut, Portrait of an American Family, and I spoke with Mr. Manson for a short 'introduction piece' for Hit Parader Magazine," Vinny recalls. "I used just a few quotes from our conversation, during which I was really impressed with his concepts, ideas and musings on pop culture. I knew he was something special; that he would be a star."
For years, the author believed a long-form version of the chat would remain unpublished. That was until he spoke with another veteran journalist who had started publishing eBooks. Vinny had found his vehicle to give these chats "life."
While preparing the book, the author noticed something interesting. All of the featured conversations were connected. They all occurred as the artists arrived at career crossroads. Readers will not only find it fascinating to travel back in time to when each conversation took place, but to also consider the path each artist has taken since the chats. When Vinny spoke with Meat Loaf, for instance, the singer had decided to end his recording career. Metallica's Lars Ulrich was looking forward to beginning the millennium as a new father, unaware that his band was about to enter its darkest and most challenging period. The events of September 11, 2001 deeply affected each of us, including Ronnie James Dio, who vented through the songs appearing on his Killing the Dragon album.
Featured conversations include Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Meat Loaf, Neil Young, Rush's Neil Peart, Deep Purple's Ian Gillan, Former Eagle Don Felder, Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister, Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio and Metallica's Lar Ulrich.
The book also features "not for the weak" trivia and a preview of Shootin' the Sh*t's second installment, due early next year.
Shooting the Sh*t
Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods
by Vinny Cecolini
Published by BearManor Media
Available for download from Amazon, Google Books, Smashwords and other eBook retailers.
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